Glastonbury 2013 - review: A laid-back Sunday to follow the Rolling Stones' show - from Rufus Wainright to John Lydon
Sunday 30 June 2013
So how can you possibly top that set from The Stones? A dream Saturday night headline set from the biggest rock band in the business was always going to a tough act to follow. Respect then to Bath-based The Heavy whose midday set on The Other Stage was a perfect start to the final day of this year's Glastonbury festival.
Besuited and booted lead singer Kelvin Swaby seems genuinely delighted with the post breakfast crowd who've pitched up to watch the band. He coaxes and cajoles them to sing and clap along to the band's infectious funk rock served up with a hearty dose of soul. A sea of waving hands at the front of the stage greets "Short Change Hero" and Swaby even manages to persuade some of us to howl like wolves.
The Heavy are, he admits, a band more suited to the middle of the night than the middle of the day in a Somerset field but by the final song of their set -a rousing version of "How you like me now" - the whole crowd are leaping along. On this evidence an evening slot on the Pyramid surely awaits next year.
Even a cursory glance at the early afternoon set list shows that all of the main stages have an easy going start. It is a Sunday after all. Rufus Wainright draws a reasonable crowd to the main stage for his like it or loathe it take on soul baring ballads. While over on The West Holts stage are Dub Colossus, an accomplished band with members from the UK and Ethiopia who blend African rhythms with dub reggae and jazz.
It's a heady mix but it's one that works. Flanked by two percussionists, a drummer and a three piece horn section of trombone, trumpet and sax the female singer pokes fun at David Cameron while a man dances around the stage with a Cameron mask. It's a hilarious and slightly surreal moment, but hey ho this is Glastonbury. By the end of their set their soaring saxes and sweet vocals have persuaded many to put down their cardboard plates of food and throw some shapes instead.
The Other Stage then plays host to PIL. John Lydon is on cracking form, scrunching his eyes closed and bellowing out the lyrics. He seems delighted to be there, scowling and snarling his way through the set. Who said punk was dead?
But the real standout performance of the afternoon has to be The Congos. From the moment the four frontmen skank onto the West Holts stage, their infectious smiles and seemingly boundless energy lifts the whole festival. They throw poses, perform karate high kicks and produce some seriously funky dance moves.
The elder statesmen of reggae put on a show that belies their years. Witnessing their classic roots reggae in the sun has to be the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Outstanding track "Row Fisherman Row" has the whole field skanking along in unison. It's a stunning show and easily on a par with the Stones. Two legendary sets in 24 hours is going to take some beating next year. Try and top that one Mr Eavis.
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